The Unreasonably High Cost of Herbs

I grow my own herbs. Part of this is that by doing so, I have a supply of fresh herbs whenever I want it. An even bigger reason is to save money. People don’t often realize how much money they can save by growing their own herbs. As an example, in Oregon, I grew a single sage plant. I purchased the seedling for about $3 and it was in a four-inch pot. By the end of the year, that sage plant covered over four square feet and since sage likes poor soil and bad conditions, nothing else would have grown there except weeds. I gave away roughly half of the sage when I harvested it, and still ended up with two and a half pounds of sage at the end of the year. I air-dried it. Fast forward to now. I recently priced dried sage at the store. An off-brand (cheap brand) sold rubbed sage in three-quarter ounce bottles for $2.89. The name brand was selling it for $5.63. For just the cheap brand, that comes to $61.65 per pound. (For the name brand, it would be $120.11 per pound.) As I said, I had two and a half pounds of it, so at the price of the cheap sage, that represented over $154.00. Commercial companies use heat to dry their herbs and heat destroys most of the flavor and healthy substances in the herb. I air-dried mine, so I only lost a small amount of the flavor and health Continue Reading →

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How to preserve parsley

Every year, I grow parsley. It is good for a person’s health since it is packed with minerals and vitamins and it also tastes great in salads. It is easy to grow in medium rich soil, it is a pretty plant even if it is grown in the flowerbed and it can even be grown in pots. Still, parsley is an annual and though it is cold hardy, it dies back when the temperatures drop to well below freezing. Since I also enjoy the flavor it imparts to soups, stews and other foods like spaghetti sauce, I preserve the excess for use during the winter. It isn’t all that hard to do, either, and there are a couple ways to do it. Drying parsley, first method The first step is to get some fine meshed window screen. This will allow for airflow while the parsley is drying. The importance of the airflow should become apparent later. Many people like to use screen already attached to frames, as it would be if it were actually going to be put over a window. Others prefer simply stretching it to props that allow the air to circulate both above and below it. The screen should be clean, and it should be set up in an area where it won’t be disturbed for several days to a week or so. It should not be set where it will get sunlight, however. Sun or other heat sources can force out the oils that give parsley its Continue Reading →

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